A Los Angeles news anchor has been fired after going off script and calling his own live-air TV station about the departure of his beloved co-anchor.
KTLA’s Mark Mester, 36, was first suspended, then given his marching orders on Thursday after he threw out a pre-made script and issued an impassioned apology to viewers for the exit of ‘best friend’ Lynette Romero , 55 years.
“I want to start right now by apologizing to you,” Mester said live on Saturday.
“What viewers experienced was rude, it was cruel, it was inappropriate and we are so sorry.”
The station had announced the departure of Romero, a longtime and popular host of the weekend morning show, without giving her the opportunity to say goodbye to viewers, much to their outrage.
Mark Mester, (right) of KTLA, was first suspended and then given his marching orders on Thursday after throwing out a pre-made script and issuing an impassioned apology to ‘best friend’ Lynette Romero, (left) who had left the station a few days earlier
Station employees told the Los Angeles Times that station manager Janene Drafs announced to the newsroom that Mestler had been fired during a brief speech Thursday afternoon.
‘[Mester] is no longer at KTLA5,” she told staff members who were present.
Mester had taken the opportunity on his Saturday morning show to apologize to viewers on KTLA’s behalf for the manner in which Romero left, in a way that implicitly criticized the station.
“We’re going to give you dignity and grace, which this station should have done all along,” Mester said.
“I also want to say sorry to Lynette Romero because Lynette, I love you so much, you are literally my best friend,” he said, his voice cracking at times. “You didn’t deserve what happened to you.”
“You didn’t deserve this, it was a mistake, and we hope you find the courage in your heart to forgive us.”
Staff members said the producers wrote an approved script for Mester to read as a tribute to Romero, along with photos and clips from his shows.
But Mester, who had been seen pacing angrily before the show, rejected it in favor of his own improvised monologue, in which he said there was a plane in the sky with a message of love. and gratitude to Romero.
He had rented the plane to fly over the station with a banner saying “We love you Lynette”, which he presented to producers as footage to include in the segment, but it was rejected.
Many viewers applauded Mester for his emotionally thuggish monologue, and the news that he was immediately suspended was met with even more outrage at how KTLA handled the situation.
According to witnesses in the newsroom, after the controversial segment, Mester ignored requests from management to come into their office for an emergency meeting.
Several staff members said that at one point a furious Mester told one of the news directors to “shut up” and then refused to leave the building after being told to. TO DO.
Mester also allegedly shouted obscenities at management that reverberated through the newsroom.
Romero, who had become a popular institution during a 24-year career with the station, left after bosses turned down his request to swap his weekend show for a weekend shift in order to spend more time with his family.
She is reported to have been hired by NBC’s Los Angeles affiliate KNBC-TV to host one of its weekday morning shows, sources said.
“After nearly 24 years, Lynette Romero, our friend Lynette, has decided to no longer anchor our weekend morning news,” read entertainment reporter Sam Rubin in a statement written by chief information officer Peter Saiers during a segment on September 14.
“KTLA management had hoped that she would stay here her entire career, and KTLA worked hard to make that happen,” Rubin added.
“But Lynette decided to move on to another opportunity elsewhere. Lynette, we wish you good luck, we miss you and we thank you for all you have done for KTLA. … On behalf of everyone here, we wish you and your family the best.
Saiers also said Romero turned down the opportunity to tape a farewell speech to viewers upon his abrupt departure.